Let’s explore a concept of marketing which frequently holds a lot of people back from finding success. Does this scenario sound familiar? You’re creating content and putting money into ads. Yet you see little to no results. Or maybe you’re hesitant to connect with your audience via email marketing or social media because you don’t want to bug anyone. These were a few of the ideas I wrestled with as a new marketer, which led me to create Ethical Marketing.
Ethical Marketing has 3 primary components:
I’m breaking this up into three different blog posts so we can dive deeper into each component. Be sure to tune in next week because Ethical Marketing it truly a full practice. Each aspect ties together and helps businesses sell more while feeling good about what they’re doing.
For now, let’s tackle generosity.
When I started thinking about how every piece of content could add value to someone’s day, creating content started feeling so natural and good. Even creating ads became a breeze. Before this mindset shift, I was caught up in selling or pushing a product, which always just felt off. There’s nothing wrong with selling—people need to find services and products that make their life better. But no one wants to feel like they’re being sold to.
And there’s the dilemma—we need to get your business in front of people who will benefit from it. Yet sometimes it feels unnatural to sell because you don’t want to annoy your audience!
Generosity not only helps you feel better about your marketing efforts, but it’s also more effective. People are happy to receive a useful piece of information and just as thrilled to be entertained. Subsequently, they engage with your brand. The concept of reciprocity in turn encourages them to purchase from you down the road because you’ve already provided them with something valuable.
Don’t worry about giving away too much information. Every single company that gives away free, valuable advice reports winning more customers than losing them to people who run with other tactics.
Here’s how to apply generosity in the Ethical Marketing framework:
1. Decide what your main value proposition is.
This might seem obvious, but really take the time to break this down. How do you serve the basic needs of your customer? Now, if you sell security cameras, easy! You keep people and their families safe. If you’re an online wine club, it’s trickier. How do you add value to the lives of your customers? Let’s break this example down.
Dig into the actual value of what you offer, rather than the product itself. Work your way backwards from the what, to the how, to the why. Keep challenging your thoughts with so, what?
For this exercise, we will focus mostly on the what and the how. We’ll break down the why in Part 3 of the Ethical Marketing framework, as it pertains to your values.
First, let’s look at the what in the example of an online wine club. We deliver great wine. Ok, so what? People can live a more pleasurable life. Ok, so what? People connect with others through a shared experience that brings them to a higher state of being. Good. Wine is social status and transcendence—that’s really what the online wine club is about.
How do you do it?
There are three main areas of expertise that you could focus on. Most companies are best at one: convenience, quality, or price. In the example of an online wine club, you help people connect more to themselves and others with your wine. You also make it super easy for them to find great wines because your site is easy to navigate and shipping is free with the purchase of four bottles. Additionally, you add a chat box to help people find what they’re looking for.
Other companies sell cheap wine that’s not the best quality. While others offer a high premium for designer labels. You can’t compete with these companies on quality or price, but convenience is where you shine.
So you deliver a convenient way for people to meaningfully connect and achieve deeper fulfillment in life through wine.
2. Ask yourself how you can offer this value before someone buys something from you.
Instead of trying to convince them how awesome your product is, show them!
Every time you make a piece of content, decide whether your content is in line with your value proposition. For the online wine club example, you could share simple guides to food pairings, links to other tools which could be helpful to your customer, social media posts that spark conversation so people can transcend from their everyday life, etc.
Examples of types of content which wouldn’t be in line with your value proposition include 7 cheap easy rosés for summer or quick-punch content like flash sales for “Wine Wednesday.” Likewise, winemaker interviews might not be the best way for your brand since you are focusing on convenience.
Moreover, it’s always better to provide value, especially when people are first learning about your brand. Support this value-add tactic by providing more information about your brand and developing trust with your audience. However, if you’re targeting people who have already been introduced to your brand through generous content, then share even deeper brand focused content. This provides value by helping customers understand how to use your service or product.
3. Amplify your Ethical Marketing efforts.
Remember, we are being generous here! Having one or two pieces of helpful content isn’t enough. If people trust you and your brand adds value to their life, they will show up for you. Since you’re constantly being helpful, you can feel great about blasting content because people really want to see it!
Next week we will talk more about showing up for your audience. This takes generosity to the next level and builds a relationship with your future customers.
Ethical Marketing has three components: generosity, showing up for your audience, and following your values. To be generous, identify your main value proposition, choose content that follows it and amplify. This will help customers trust you and you can feel good about selling your product.